New Fresno State Interim Dean Meets with Agriculture

The Association today hosted Dr. Dennis Nef, the new Interim Dean of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (JCAST) at Fresno State.  He met with a group of agricultural interests including representatives from the Western Agricultural Processors Association (WAPA), California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association (CCGGA), California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA), Nisei Farmers League (NFL), American Pistachio Growers (APG), California Dairies Inc., California Apple Commission, California Blueberry Commission, and the Fresno County, Tulare County, Madera County and Kings County Farm Bureaus.  Dean Nef outlined his goals for his tenure as interim Dean including improving student success, increasing efficiency of agricultural department operations, and broadening the relationships with the community, including working with agricultural organizations.  The meeting sparked a lot of conversation, but in the end all in attendance agreed that this was a great start to improving the relationship with the University!

USDA Announces Connie Conway as New California FSA Director

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced Connie Conway as the new State Executive Director (SED) in California for the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), serving as an appointee of President Donald J. Trump.  FSA State Directors help implement USDA policies in planning, organizing, and administering FSA programs in their respective states.  Prior to her appointment, Conway ran her own consulting business, focusing on strategic planning, business development, and government relations services. She also served as an assemblywoman for the California State Legislature where she served as Minority Leader and on the Agriculture, Transportation, Labor and Health Committees. She also served as a member of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors.

Market Facilitation Program Update

The Market Facilitation Program part of the Trade Mitigation Package will provide up to $14.5 billion in direct payments to agricultural producers who’ve been affected by unwarranted retaliatory tariffs on U.S. farm goods.

California Farm Service Agency is requesting trade groups/community partners to please inform your producers that sign-ups will begin Monday July 29th. Please recommend your producers to contact their local county office and make an appointment to come in and sign-up since we are anticipating large number of producers that will be affected.

MFP Eligible Commodities

Non-specialty crops: alfalfa hay, barley, canola, corn, crambe, dried beans, dry peas, extra-long staple cotton, flaxseed, lentils, long grain and medium grain rice, millet, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, rapeseed, rye, safflower, sesame seed, small and large chickpeas, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed, temperate japonica rice, triticale, upland cotton, and wheat

Specialty crops:  almonds, cranberries, cultivated ginseng, fresh grapes, fresh sweet cherries, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts

Hogs and dairy

The signup period will be from July 29th to December 6, 2019. Payments will be based on 2019 planted acres with some additional restricts.  Producers affected by natural disasters who filed prevented planting claims then planted an MFP-eligible cover crop, with the potential to be harvested or for subsequent use as forage, qualify for a $15 per acre payment.

42nd Annual Ag Boosters Barbecue

The Ag Boosters 42nd Annual Barbecue supporting Ag One and California Women for Agriculture (CWA) will be held Sunday, September 8th at Borba Ranch in Madera, CA. The event begins at 4 p.m. and dinner will be served at 5: 30 p.m. In addition to the chance to win a fantasy vacation of your choice, attendees will be able to participate in a live and silent live auction. The event directly benefits students and programs in the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology at Fresno State. In addition, CWA is able to promote California agriculture through education, legislative programs, and providing scholarships. The deadline to purchase tickets is August 30th and can be purchased online at For more information, please see the attached flyer or contact the Ag One Foundation at (559) 278-4266.

Event Flyer


Another high heat advisory warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for Thursday, July 26, 2019 and Friday, July 27, 2019 for parts of Central Valley counties.  Employers must have an effective Heat Illness Prevention Program and procedures in place on the steps to take during high heat temperatures.  Procedures for shade must be made available at all times and in place when the temperature is 80 degrees or above.  Employers should encourage employees to frequently drink water throughout the work shift and encourage workers to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least five minutes. High heat procedures include documented daily tailgate meeting when the temperature is 95 degrees and above to review the high heat procedures, encourage employees to drink plenty of water – at least 1 quart per hour the entire shift, remind employees of their right to take a cool-down rest when necessary. Other requirements include observing employees for alertness and signs or symptoms of heat illness.  Prevention of heat illness is crucial, ensure supervisors are effectively trained on emergency procedures and signs and symptoms of heat related illnesses.

Passing of Wallace Houchin

June 10, 1932 – July 18, 2019

With great sorrow we announce the passing of Wallace Henry Houchin on July 18, 2019 at his cabin on Greenhorn Mountain. He was 87 years old.

Wallace was born June 10, 1932 in Bakersfield, California to parents Lester Hugo Houchin and Mother Gertrude Gilson Houchin. In 1950 he graduated from the Black Fox Military Academy in Los Angeles and attended college at the University of California, Davis. In 1952 Wallace was drafted into the United States Airforce and served in the Korean War as a F-86 Fighter Pilot. After returning to California, Wallace met the love his life, Janice, and they were married in 1956. They eventually settled in Bakersfield where they raised their children.

Wallace was a successful entrepreneur and businessman who greatly shaped and influenced the agriculture industry. In 1959 Wallace became the president of a family crop finance and cotton ginning operation, which he expanded with the help of his brothers Clifford and Donald to include Buttonwillow Ginning Company, Buttonwillow Warehouse Company, Tech Ag Financial Group, Tech Ag de Mexico, Mission Ag Resources, and Elk Grove Farming LLC. Wallace was actively involved in organizations such as The California Cotton Growers Association, California Planting Cotton Seed Distributors, and the National Cotton Council. He was especially proud of his 46-year service as president of the Buena Vista Water Storage District, where he had the foresight to help craft major water policy for the San Joaquin Valley that is still relevant today. Wallace’s hobbies included playing dominos with his “oil buddies,” playing golf with “lunch buddies” at Stockdale Country Club, taking pictures of friends and family, and his thirst for knowledge on all topics. Wallace also enjoyed spending his Sundays attending and greeting members at First Presbyterian Church.

Through all his accomplishments, Wallace’s number one priority was his wife and best friend, Janice, who he loved deeply and referred to as a “looker and a cooker.” Wallace and Janice enjoyed traveling to many places, but their favorite was always Carmel, California, where they spent their honeymoon and visited every year for over 50 years to celebrate their life together. Wallace and Janice also loved spending time at their little cabin, the “Bear’s Lair,” on Greenhorn Mountain. We thank Wallace for being a true hero and leading his family through this life with honor, integrity and love. There will never be another like him.

Wallace is survived by his wife, Janice; his children, Vicki Houchin, Chris Houchin, Steve Houchin and his wife Laura, and Joan Houchin; brother, Donald Houchin and his wife Patti; sister, Diane Houchin; sister-in-law, Shirley Houchin; and his grandchildren: Britain and David Houchin; Steven Houchin; Nicholas Houchin and his wife, Emily; Caroline Siegel; Steven and Kelsie Bowden. Wallace was preceded in death by his brother, Clifford; daughter Jill Bowden; and granddaughters Christennie and Devonnie Houchin.

Our family would also like a thank Dr. Ray V. Matthews, Dr. David Daugherty, and Dr. Tommy Lee for the outstanding medical care they provided to Wallace.

Services will be held at First Presbyterian Church, located at 1705 17th Street, Bakersfield, California on Thursday, July 25 at 12:00 p.m. A reception will follow at Stockdale Country Club, located at 7001 Stockdale Highway, Bakersfield, California.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in memory of Wallace Houchin to Bakersfield Memorial Hospital Foundation, 420 34th Street, Bakersfield, California, 93301, attention to Ken Keller.

For Condolences, please visit: Greenlawn Funeral Home Northeast


Cal/OSHA Standards Board has approved the emergency protection of workers exposed to wildfire smoke.  This standard applies to workplaces where the current Air Quality Index (AQI) of particulate matter reaches 151 or greater and where employers should reasonably anticipate that employees could be exposed to wildfire smoke.  The regulation will be effective for one year and expected to be effective in August. The Standards Board will file the regulation with the Office of Administrative Law, which has 10 working days to review and approve as a new standard enforced by Cal/OSHA.  Under the new regulation, employers must check the AQI during fire season for PM 2.5 in areas where workers are located; reduce employee exposure to wildfire smoke, i.e. move employees to an outdoor area where AQI for PM 2.5 is lower than 150 or relocate employees to an indoor work area with filtered air; if this is not feasible, voluntary use respirators are to be provided – such as model N95s, with training on the health effects of wildfire smoke and the safe use plus maintenance of respirators.  Cal/OSHA will hold a public advisory meeting in Oakland on August 27th to adopt permanent regulations.

California Cotton Industry Loses a Legend

It is with deep sadness that the Association announces the passing of longtime cotton industry legend Larry Gallian, who passed away on July 1th at the age of 75.  Larry was born in 1943 in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee.  He moved to California when he was 4 years old.  He graduated from Redwood High School in 1961 where he played basketball and baseball.  He started his “cotton career” in 1964 driving a spreader truck for Visalia Co-op Gin.  He became the assistant manager of the gin and in 1983 became the manager of operations, where he served until 2006 when Visalia Coop Gin closed its doors.  He then became a Pest Control Advisor for Nutrien in 2007 until his passing.  Larry served on the Board of Directors for the California Cotton Ginners Association from 1985 until 2007, and was the Chairman of the Board in 1990-1991.  Larry was honored with the Association’s Distinguished Service Award in 2006 for his commitment to the Association and the entire cotton industry.  He was heavily involved in the activities of the Association and served at different times on the Executive, Legal and Legislative, Annual Meeting, Joint Steering, Energy, Gin Waste Utilization and Political Action Committees.  Larry is survived by his wife of 55 years, Paulette, and his two daughters Niki and Traci, as well as his two brothers Terry and Gary, along with numerous nieces and nephews.  In lieu of flowers the family requests that all memorial contributions be made to the City of Woodlake Parks and Recreation Department to support Larry’s love for youth sports.  Donations may be dropped offed or mailed to:  City of Woodlake, 350 N. Valencia Blvd., Woodlake, CA  93286.  A celebration of life will be held on Sunday August 4th. From 12-4 pm at the Visalia Elks Lodge located at 3100 W. Main St in Visalia, California.